Starring: Sally Field, Joe Mantegna, Ed Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, Beverly D’Angelo, Philip Baker Hall, Keith David
Director: John Schlesinger
Director, John Schlesinger, has been very quiet of late. He picked up an oscar for “Midnight Cowboy” (1969, best director) and had several nominations around that time. However, since his heyday, his movies have been thin on the ground. The seventies brought “Yanks” and “Marathon Man” , the eighties gave us “Believers” and 1990 saw him give us the average thriller “Pacific Heights” (Michael Keaton on top form). One could be forgiven for thinking that the end is nigh for this quality director…hold on.
“Eye for an Eye” is only the London-born directors fourth film of the nineties. Sally Field plays Karen McCann, a loving mother who is subjected to being an aural witness to the rape and murder of her teenage daughter. When Robert Doob (Sutherland) is charged for the murder and is then released on a technicality, Karen finds it hard to cope with the reality and starts to follow him, knowing he will do it again. Detective Dinillo (Mantegna) can do nothing to help her though and sure enough Doob kills again. She starts to grow apart from her husband (Harris) and is hellbent on achieving revenge for the injustice so much, that she gets involved with vigilantism.
While “Eye for an Eye” cannot be considered in the same breath as “Cape Fear” or “Seven”, there is enough tension and emotion on show to ensure a good 90 minutes will be had by all. The performances are very strong; Sutherland, very much an underrated actor excels in a limited role, Mantegna and Harris hang on to whatever they can admirably and Field is a potent enough actress to run the show.
Even though much of it is formulaic, Schlesinger uses his undoubted ability to keep things moving as fast and as tensely as possible. “Eye for an Eye” is a good title that can be recommended to most.